11 Ways You're Ruining Your Biscuits

Learn how to sidestep common biscuit-making mistakes with our Test Kitchen-approved tips.

Classic biscuits might not need a lot of ingredients to make, but there are still a few ways that this breakfast staple can be disastrous if not baked correctly. The Test Kitchen has a few techniques and baking tips to help your biscuit-making process, from preparing the ingredients to shaping the dough.

After combining the flour, butter, and buttermilk, the flaky breakfast—or any time of the day—biscuit needs to be rolled and cut to perfection for a roll with fluffy insides and crispy, buttery outsides. After pulling these homemade treats from the oven, you'll have even more fun deciding on toppings. Good thing we have tips for making the perfect biscuit every time so you can enjoy your crispy treats with all the toppings you can imagine.

Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit
Brian Woodcock

Mistake To Avoid When Baking Biscuits

Here are 11 mistakes to avoid when baking homemade biscuits:

01 of 12

Cutting the Butter into Chunks

shredded butter on a piece of parchment paper
Will Dickey

Many recipes call for cold butter cut into small pieces. After testing hundreds of biscuits, the Southern Living Test Kitchen cooks found that grating a frozen stick of butter with the large holes of a box grater made the best dough and was much faster too. The ice-cold shreds of butter incorporate into the flour more evenly, improving the dough's flavor and texture.

02 of 12

Choosing the Wrong Flour

White Lily Flour
Larry Dunlap

Whole grains have their moment to shine, but we prefer White Lily self-rising flour for a classic Southern-style biscuit. Self-rising flour, made with softer winter wheat, has less protein. Less protein means more tender biscuits. (If you can't find White Lily, use all-purpose bleached flour.)

03 of 12

Forgetting To Chill the Butter and Flour

Step 3: Fold Biscuits
Photo: Brian Woodcock

Once you've combined your butter and flour, put the bowl back in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to make sure the butter stays cold. The butter should not soften before placing the biscuits in the oven.

04 of 12

Skipping the Buttermilk

folding buttermilk biscuit dough over in half
Will Dickey

Buttermilk gives biscuits their signature tang and keeps the dough tender. Make sure it's very cold when you add the buttermilk to the dough.

05 of 12

Overworking (or Underworking) the Dough

rectangle of buttermilk biscuit dough
Will Dickey

The biscuits will be hard and tough if you stir the dough too much. They will have a floury, uneven texture if you don't mix enough. Our Test Kitchen cracked the code: Stir the dough 15 times for the perfect consistency and texture.

06 of 12

Using Your Hands To Shape the Dough

rolling pins
Courtesy of Amazon

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. The heat of your hands can actually soften the butter.

07 of 12

Rolling the Dough Out Once

Woman Rolling Out Dough
Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

You can't roll out your dough only once for layers and layers of buttery goodness. For flaky layers, fold and roll the dough five times before cutting.

08 of 12

Twisting the Biscuit Cutter

Step 4: Cut Dough
Brian Woodcock

When you're ready to cut your biscuits, punch straight down with your biscuit cutter. Twisting the cutter "seals" the edges, which keeps your biscuits from rising high.

09 of 12

Baking On an Unlined Pan

Father's Day Brunch Recipe Ideas: Buttermilk Biscuits
Photo: Jennifer Davick

Place your cut biscuits on a parchment-lined baking pan to avoid sticking.

10 of 12

Placing the Biscuits Far Apart

Angel Biscuits Recipe
Photo: Alison Miksch

Make sure the sides are touching when you set the biscuits on the baking sheet. As they bake, they cling to each other, rising bigger and taller.

11 of 12

Baking at a Low Temperature

Buttermilk Biscuits
Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

A hot oven helps biscuits bake—and rise—quickly. We recommend 475˚F for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven as soon as they are lightly brown.

12 of 12

Digging in Too Soon

Southern Living

We know, we know—at this point, you're dying to enjoy those hot, flaky biscuits. But one final step will make them truly over-the-top. Simply brush the tops with melted butter and prepare for the best biscuit experience of your life.

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